3D printing for medical purposes
A wooden and leather prosthetic toe found tied to a mummy’s foot in the Egyptian city of Thebes dates back over 3,500 years. Many other examples of artificial hands, fingers, legs and teeth have survived the ages.Now, 3D printing is changing the game. In the first instance, 3D printing allows for the creation of unique prosthetics tailored to each individual. Just as no two human feet are the same, no two prosthetic feet should be identical either. One prosthetics manufacturer, Bespoke Innovations, uses 3D printing to design and create unique prosthetic ‘fairings’ for each client. The fairings are specialised coverings that surround an existing prosthetic leg. 3D scanning is used to capture the unique leg shape of the individual, thus restoring the aesthetic symmetry of the wearer’s body.Each fairing can be uniquely designed. The coverings are modular, giving the wearer the versatility to match their prosthetic to a particular occasion or activity (or outfit).The idea behind this customisation is that a person is strapping on, not a standard and utilitarian prosthetic, but their own one-of-a-kind bespoke limb. This gives the individual more individuality and confidence.Kačičnik M. Wooden Toe Prosthetic Discovered on Egyptian Mummy [Internet]. 2017 [cited 11 January 2019]. Available from: livescience.com
Conversation starterFind an example of a public figure who has a prosthetic limb.
- How has the prosthetic become part of their life and identify?
Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts
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